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298 Jes> Mr. DeMille The unsolicited ripostes from the priest were skillfully thought out. The boss was needled by them. "There are Com- munist sympathizers in the Catholic Church/' he said one day, "I know one, Bishop Buddy/' and repeating a favorite lament, "I'd like to become a Catholic someday but I can't make up my mind about an organization that allows a man like Buddy to belong/' It was, all of it, a strange quest much out of keeping with his character, an eerie bit of witch-hunting which sought to in- flict the Communist stigma on those who merely disagreed with him. He told us there was no telling what organizations had be- come Communist sounding boards. When he was asked by the United States Lawn Tennis Association to permit the honorary use of his name, he ordered a check made of its politics. "We just can't be too careful," he said. Of the several opposed concepts of DeMille, the impression of him as the "father of the American film" has taken on almost legendary proportions. After-dinner speakers placed DeMille on a pedestal enjoyed by few distinguished Americans, pairing him off with Lincoln, General Marshall, Belasco, Barnum and Billy Rose. In most instances the comparisons pleased DeMille. However, on one occasion a zealot likened Franklin D. Roose- velt's Americanism to DeMille's, a shock which the veteran pro- ducer never quite overcame. It was difficult for the boss to keep from placing much of his woe at the doorstep of Roosevelt New Dealers. At this time, some six years after his AFRA defeat in the courts, he was con- scious of how really big was his sacrifice. He was not only off the air permanently but also banned from television. Forgetful persons who sought him for a radio or TV appearance had to be